Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by CleanCutLawnGuy, Apr 16, 2008.

1. ### CleanCutLawnGuyLawnSite Memberfrom Saint Petersburg, FLMessages: 1

1st post...Just getting started and need to know formula to calculate cutting large areas. I have seen before, but did not write down. since then have registered as a vendor with local municipalities and have received 1st RFP. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Alex

2. ### capnsacLawnSite Senior Memberfrom Omaha, NEMessages: 702

there are a lot of formulas or rates to go by. Different rates will work in different areas and vice versa. To give you and idea of a couple some go by estimating approximate time that they will be there and then charge so that they are making close to 60 an hour. Others will measure the property out and charge a certain rate for the first acre, and then deduct that rate by half and charge that for each additional acre.
My personal choice is to measure the property out and then charge 2 to 3 dollars (depends on the area of town you're in) every 1000 sq ft. For instance you're bidding a 2 acre job, so approx 86,000 sq ft. Take 86,000 divide that by 1000 and then multiply by 2 which gives you 166 dollars for the job. This rate works for my area, however it might not work for yours.
Hope this helps, good luck bidding.

3. ### thesodfatherLawnSite Memberfrom Akron, OhioMessages: 29

im in the same boat... i have a bid on a big account but i dont know how much mowable space it is i walked the property twice today and have been looking at aerial views of it on google maps and trying to figure the mowable space but theres so many little patches here and there im having trouble putting them together

4. ### capnsacLawnSite Senior Memberfrom Omaha, NEMessages: 702

Take a legal pad and a measuring wheel out to the property. Use the Length x Width formula to give the amount of square feet at the property. Write down any notes that you have about the property as well, be sure to include this on the estimate. This will come in handy because when you hand the property manager the amount it shows you took the care and concern to explain why you bid it at the price you did.
Sit down with a nice cup of coffee and add it all up. Make sure to take into account how efficient you will are going to be. i.e. wide open lawn vs cluttered lawn with trees, landscaping, and such.
Hope this helps.

-P

5. ### j05h22LawnSite Memberfrom Moore, OklahomaMessages: 70

I know this is off topic, but when I first started I read on this site how not to undersell yourself and all that jazz. I did a bid on a bunch of duplexes. Making a long story short I told them like 575 a week or soemthing stupid like that. WAYYYYY to much.. I personally like going by figuring how long it will take you then figuring up your hourly rate. If I went by this when I bid on the duplexes I would of been charging something like \$150/hr. LOL you live and learn I guess.

6. ### capnsacLawnSite Senior Memberfrom Omaha, NEMessages: 702

Did you get the bid?

7. ### lawnman_scottLawnSite Fanaticfrom st pete, FLMessages: 7,547

There is no formula to use, except for experience. I actually have one that is exactly 86000 sq ft. Your formula would force me to find a job I am afraid. If its a flat wide open feild that might work, but every lawn is different. Different size and shape of area, obstakles, ect. You cant just start plugging in numbers you heard on the interenet and make it work. New people have to realize that it takes time and experience to get it right.

8. ### RaiderLawnSite Memberfrom IOWAMessages: 69

Remember, everyone's situation is different. Others don't know your cost of operating, the market in your area, or speed at which you operate. They are just giving advise based on their experience's with their business.

9. ### capnsacLawnSite Senior Memberfrom Omaha, NEMessages: 702

I didn't plug these numbers in from the interenet (as you so intelligently spelled it) these are real life numbers. Numbers that work for my area, and may not work for yours. Oh wait, I said that already in my first post didn't I? Next time you try and dissect a way someone else bids something make sure you have a handle on what argument your posing in the first place. I can't stand this board because of ignorant people like this. I merely offered assistance and I get flamed for it.
If you think you have more experience then me simply because you have more posts then I do then get real. I spend my time working in the field, not on this board giving people your 'real life' experience.